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Tidbit: Ancient Indigenous Magrehbi’s(Northwest Africans) are distinct from later Magrehbi’s, lacking the genes for lighter skin which they would get later from Euopean and Levantine sources “Neolithization of North Africa involved the migration of people from both the Levant and Europe” “One of the greatest transitions in the human story was the change from hunter-gatherer to farmer. How farming traditions expanded from their birthplace in the Fertile Crescent has always been a matter of contention. Two models were proposed, one involving the movement of people and the other based on the transmission of ideas. Over the last decade, paleogenomics has been instrumental in settling long-disputed archaeological questions, including those surrounding the Neolithic revolution. Compared to the extensive genetic work done on Europe and the Near East, the Neolithic transition in North Africa, including the Maghreb, remains largely uncharacterized. Archaeological evidence suggests this process may have happened through an in situ development from Epipaleolithic communities, or by demic diffusion from the Eastern Mediterranean shores or Iberia. In fact, Neolithic pottery in North Africa strongly resembles that of European cultures like Cardial and Andalusian Early Neolithic, the southern-most early farmer culture from Iberia. Here, we present the first analysis of individuals’ genome sequences from early and late Neolithic sites in Morocco, as well as Andalusian Early Neolithic individuals. We show that Early Neolithic Moroccans are distinct from any other reported ancient individuals and possess an endemic element retained in present-day Maghrebi populations, indicating long-term genetic continuity in the region. Among ancient populations, early Neolithic Moroccans share affinities with Levantine Natufian hunter-gatherers (~9,000 BCE) and Pre-Pottery Neolithic farmers (~6,500 BCE). Late Neolithic (~3,000 BCE) Moroccan remains, in comparison, share an Iberian component of a prominent European-wide demic expansion, supporting theories of trans-Gibraltar gene flow. Finally, the Andalusian Early Neolithic samples share the same genetic composition as the Cardial Mediterranean Neolithic culture that reached Iberia ~5,500 BCE. The cultural and genetic similarities of the Iberian Neolithic cultures with that of North African Neolithic sites further reinforce the model of an Iberian intrusion into the Maghreb.” “Finally, phenotypic predictions based on genetic variants of known effects agree with our estimates of global ancestry. IAM people [Early Neolithic Moroccans] do not possess any of the European SNPs associated with light pigmentation, and most likely had dark skin and eyes. IAM samples present ancestral alleles for pigmentation-associated variants present in SLC24A5 (rs1426654), SLC45A2 (rs16891982) and OCA2 (rs16891982 and 12913832) genes. On the other hand, KEB individuals [Late Neolithic Moroccans] exhibit some European- derived alleles that predispose individuals to lighter skin and eye colour, including those on genes SLC24A5 (rs1426654) and OCA2 (rs16891982) (Supplementary Note 11).”

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